Maternity Leave and the Accrual of Holidays

In June of this year the SNCT amended the national Conditions of service in relation to accrual of holidays during Maternity leave in order to bring teachers' conditions of service in line with legislation. The new arrangements are more complex that the previous ones. The text of the arrangements is available from Part 2: Section 7 of the The SNCT Handbook of Conditions of Service

Outline of the Arrangements

Teachers on maternity leave now accrue holidays on the same basis as a teacher was at work.

For every day a teacher is on maternity leave (which would normally have been a day of work) the teacher accrues 0.3385 of a day's holiday. The calculation of holiday entitlement has 3 elements to it:

1. Holidays accrued and taken prior to commencement of Maternity Leave 2. Holidays accrued during Maternity Leave 3. Holidays accrued and to be taken after Maternity Leave

Any outstanding balance of holidays accrued will normally be taken immediately after the end of the Maternity Leave period (with consultation with the employer).

The teacher has the option to take at least some of this outstanding balance as an additional cash payment rather than as holidays. It must be remembered that a teacher while on holiday does not accrue further holiday entitlement.

Who is affected?

The following 3 groups will be affected by these changes:

1. Those currently on Maternity Leave 2. Those about to go on Maternity Leave 3. Those who have recently returned from Maternity Leave

The SNCT did not make any decision regarding the back-dating of these new arrangements. In the opinion of the Association's legal adviser, teachers whose babies were born on or after 5 October 2008 may be entitled to claim.

What to do?

In the first instance the Association advises any member with questions relating to Maternity Leave and the accrual of holidays should contact their employers HR department to ascertain the employer's view on the matter. A profoma letter is available to help you contact your employer. Where the information from your employer differs from advice above please email the Association at for further support.